My first born was due on this day. Not this actual day, day here and now. On April 11th a few—okay, more than a few—years ago. He was born the middle of March. Maybe the early arrival wasn’t totally his fault. Freshly released from the United States Army (my husband’s service, not mine) we hopped on a plane to bring us home to Michigan from Arizona. I was huge at the time, even needed an extender seat belt, but they let me fly. My water broke about six hours after we landed.
A new baby and no jobs, no home of our own, certainly no well stocked nursery to bring him home to. Nada. Zilch. Nothing. All of our worldly possessions were on a semi-truck somewhere in transit. No preparation allowed for this baby’s arrival—at all. We stayed with my parents for about a month. Ultimately found jobs and a place to live.
The twins were due the end of January. They arrived the week before Christmas. Another preparation prospect down the tubes. Although we were admittedly more established by this time with a home of our own, steady jobs, income and the like, if not for an ultra-sound ordered two weeks before, I’d have continued to expect one baby instead of two.
My Christmas shopping wasn’t finished either. Never was that year.
Only my second child, a girl, kept it pretty close to term. Even went over by a few days, if memory serves. She’s the only child who allowed me to plan. The others forced me to figuratively think on the fly. To make sure I provided for their needs no matter what I had going on at the moment.
It’s sort of the same with the characters we create and the situations we put them in. As writers, it’s our job to attend to their immediate needs. Get them out of one sticky situation and into another. Because that’s basically how we pantsers operate.
The pantser process worked for me in the two books I wrote for the Dearly Beloved series of The Wild Rose Press.
The idea for Night Stars and Mourning Doves—a second chance romance—came to me when my husband fell out of a tree he was trimming and accidentally took a Mourning Dove’s nest down with him. No babies yet, thank goodness, and she eventually rebuilt.
My first book contracted on spec, Only If You Dare, was supposed to be a courtroom tale of big business versus the little guy. Except, that’s not exactly what I wrote. The final product did turn out to center around a courtroom, but with no little guys in sight. The story was about a multi-decorated war veteran, now a judge, who suffers from Post-Traumatic Stress and the woman counselor who helps him reclaim his life.
If not for three of those four little darlings coming into my life willy-nilly like they did, I very easily could have turned out to be a straight and linear plotter.
How about you? What's your writing style and why?
My days to blog here are the 11th and 23rd.
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